Jump to content
IF you are having trouble logging in or staying logged in ×

Advice Needed - Trip to Montana

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Grew up in the great State of Maine.


When I graduated from UMaine in 1988, there were no jobs in Maine.  I ended up in Southern California, which was hell for someone who loved to fish the crystal clear brooks, rivers, ponds and lakes of Maine.


My job transfers took me to Sacramento at one point, and that territory allowed me to work in Montana, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.  So, I took advantage of opportunities to fish in and around Yellowstone, and The Bighorn, and the Green River in Utah.  That was the early 90's.


It's been a few years, and I am thinking of booking a week to bomb around those areas again.  The Bighorn was the most prolific of the Rivers, but there was not a hell of a lot of scenery.   Yellowstone Park itself was spectacular, but the fishing was not as spectacular as the Bighorn.  Booked a trip with a Guide on the Madison but ended up being a lot of small fish.  never got into any of the big stonefly hatches.


The Green below the dam was phenomenal, but like the Bighorn, there was not much for bars/restaurants that I recall when one was done fishing.


Anyway - I would love to hear from any of you that have fished the area and where you stayed, which resorts/guides you used, time of year, etc.  I am thinking two to three days with a guide at the Bighorn, and then maybe heading towards the Park for a few days.  Not sure what my should can take these days. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Montana is a very special place. There are tons of opportunities in the area you are asking about. Shoot, I could spend a few weeks fishing the Madison from Quake Lake to the West Fork and be perfectly happy! I spent a bunch of time in the area before I got married, worked 4 Summers in West Yellowstone, fished every free minute I had. The Gallatin is a great river, and if you don't mind the traffic, there are lots of opportunities in Yellowstone National Park. I am not much of a guide guy, mostly DIY for me, but there are tons of good outfitters. Timing plays a roll for sure, when are you thinking of going? 


There have been other similar threads on this topic too. While in the Fly Fishing Forum just type "Yellowstone" or "Montana" in the search bar! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sort of partial to the stretch of the Madison in the Reynolds Pass/Three Dollar Bridge area. Obviously a well-known area and it can get crowded, but I find I can usually have large stretches of river to myself if I'm willing to do some walking. The stretch of Henry's Fork below Ashton dam isn't too far from there and is a good day diversion. I'll also usually finish a week in that area with a run up to the Beaverhead near Ennis to see if I can get lucky and hook into a big brown.  


Kelly Galloup's Slide Inn is a good place to stay on the Madison. The guys in his fly shop are also great about providing intel for the best fishing. Grizzly's Bar and Grill is just down the road as well. Good food, booze, etc. 


Good thread. I hope to get some ideas for new rivers for my next trip out there. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

*Edit to add MaineGuide you were the first comment on that thread lol*


I went end of august last year, wife booked me a trip at madison valley ranch for my 40th. All inclusive, really nice lodge with sit down dinners with everyone. 2 days guided drifts and they have a small pro shop with gear they supply (everything, all i brought was some flys and wet wading socks) that you can borrow and walk out back to fish the madison. The people there are great, and while most of the other guests with the exception of a few were first timers or business associates on a trip, the employees are fishermen. At night during “meal time” they would just put my plate in the fridge so I could be out back fishing until dark after my guided day was over, and then reheat it for me whenever I got back. Really cant recommend them enough.


That being said, that was for my 40th, so special occasion. Obviously you dont need to go that crazy, I saw several motels in Ennis just off the river that would be just fine. While I was supplied a guide by the lodge, they all seem to also work independently. I fished with a kid from Jersey who moved out there and basically lives out of his truck. We had a great time, and would recommend him as well if he is still down that way. If you search my name you will see the thread I made on this trip, not sure what you consider big fish (maine has the biggest brookies ive ever seen) but I caught quite a few large fish, and hooked and lost a monster. As this was my only time in Montana I obviously can only give my experience there, but it was recent. Just know I am jealous and am trying to make it at least a biannual trip.

Edited by frobombs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...